Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Writing Week (Vol. 5) part 240 - Thoughts on Collaborating

You probably know that I've been working on a sci-fi spec with a collaborator since about February. Let's call my writing partner W.A. He's a known actor/writer/director whose major projects came to fruition in the late 80s and early 90s. Needless to say, he has about two decades of experience on me, which is fecund with knowledge and insight. 

The collaboration has been a really interesting journey so far. For one, this is the first time I've worked on a project that has not been - at least partially - my idea from the get go. I came on board years into the development of the piece, though still in the outline stage. Almost immediately, I began implementing changes, and W.A. has been great from day one about letting me run with my ideas. He's been so open to any and every suggestion, as long as they have been in keeping with the fundamental precepts of the idea. 

In the months since I first got the call about the project, I've rewritten the outline in a major way in at least 4 different ways. (The latest draft was titled Revision 7, but some of the versions might have incorporated minor changes only.) W.A. wants to direct the piece, so his vision has sort of led it this whole time, but the autonomy that I've had has been tremendous. I don't know that I would have come up with the idea on my own, but I've grown increasingly intrigued by it over these past five or so months, especially as it has morphed from something entirely of his own creation to something that we have both weighed in on equally. 

I know that there's a lot of insight I can gain by working with W.A. In the beginning of our time together, our conversations revolved primarily around the project and didn't deviate much from that. In the time since, though, we have become more informal and personal with one another, discussing other projects, as well as the goings on in our lives in general. W.A. is consistently working on other projects - mainly as a director - so I know that he has a lot of wisdom to impart. If nothing else, this experience will be of value for all that I can learn from him.